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On a cold winter day, all any of us want to do is snuggle up somewhere cozy and warm—and as pet parents, we of course want our dogs to be just as comfortable as we are. While there's certainly nothing wrong with sharing a blanket with your pup or outfitting them in a thick sweater, another option is to buy a dog heating pad to keep your furry friend feeling snug and toasty no matter the temperature outside.
The Benefits of Dog Heating Pads
Although the idea of buying a heating pad for your dog might sound odd because they're covered in hair, there are actually several benefits to doing so, according to Graham Brayshaw, Director of Veterinary Medicine at the Animal Humane Society. For some puppies, senior dogs, or sick dogs who "cannot regulate their own temperature," explains Brayshaw, the instant, regulated warmth of heating pads can offer easy comfort. That's not to say healthy pups can't also enjoy the pads to combat the cold weather, "especially if your dog has a shorter coat or is smaller, like a Chihuahua or dachshund," he notes.
Are Dog Heating Pads Safe?
"If used properly," says Brayshaw, heating pads are absolutely safe—but you have to be extremely careful. When giving your dog a heating pad, cover it with a towel or other material to prevent "direct heating pad to skin or fur contact" that could burn your pup, advises Brayshaw. Also, check the pad's temperature often, keeping in mind that "if it is too hot for you, it is probably really too hot for your dog," he says. Lastly, don't force your dog to stay on the pad; give them the choice to leave any time they want. "Your dog best knows what is comfortable for them and when they get too hot or too cold," says Brayshaw. "You should give them the option to move onto or away from a heating pad." Dogs who have trouble moving around due to conditions like arthritis may need extra help getting on or off a heating pad. It's important to check on these dogs more often when heating pads are in use.
How to Choose the Right Heating Pad for Your Dog
"While you can find animal-specific pads and beds, human pads are fine as well if you follow the above rules," says Brayshaw. When shopping for a heating pad, consider whether it's the right size for your dog, but it's important to also take into account whether the pad comes with an automatic turn-off and if its temperature can be adjusted, he explains. Always monitor you pet while they are using the heating pad to ensure they don't become too hot, and always ask your vet about your dog's specific needs.
10 Dog Heating Pads for Every Pup and Budget
Riogoo Pet Heating Pad
This electric heating pad has won rave reviews from thousands of Amazon shoppers—and for good reason. You can choose from four sizes and feel secure knowing that the pad's auto power function will turn the pad off if you forget to do it yourself. There's also a seven-layer protection structure and a temperature sensor inside the warming mat to prevent overheating.
Shop now: Riogoo Pet Heating Pad, $29; amazon.com
K&H Lectro Igloo-Style Heated Pad
Yes, this heated pad is pricey, but hear us out—it's everything your dog could want. The half-circle shape is designed to fit in an igloo- or round-shaped doghouse and gives pets the space to stay on the surface however much they're comfortable. The internal thermostat heats up right to the user's standard temperature. This pad can be used both indoors or outdoors, and with any type of dog be or doghouse.
Shop now: K&H Lectro Igloo-Style Heated Pad, $172; petco.com
Petnf Pet-Heated Pad
Available in four sizes and three pretty colors, this well-reviewed dog heating pad comes with a temperature regulator with six different levels as well as an auto-shut timer. And the cord is advertised as chew-resistant, so it may be a better option for dogs with a propensity for chewing—just remember to always keep an eye on your pet while they use the bed!
Shop now: Petnf Pet-Heated Pad, $35; amazon.com
Pet Genius Heated Pet Pad
Taking only about 10 minutes to fully heat up, this heated pet pad also uses a sensor to track the temperature to ensure it doesn't get to a dangerous level. It can be used for both cats and dogs, providing a warm, cozy spot that any pet will undoubtedly enjoy.
Shop now: Pet Genius Heated Pet Pad, $50; target.com
Farm Innovators Heated Pet Mat
A fleece-covered dog heating pad for use both indoors or outdoors, this Amazon option has tons of strong reviews from happy pet owners. Many note the helpfulness of the LED light, which indicates that the mat is on and heating up, as well as the mat's durable, weather-resistant material.
Shop now: Farm Innovators Heated Pet Mat, $71; amazon.com
K&H Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heating Pad
Another option from K&H, this heating pad is meant specifically for outdoor use but can also be used indoors, of course. The pad itself is made from soft, orthopedic foam, and it features a removable fleece cover as well as a PVC wrapping on the exterior to keep the bed dry and clean when placed outside.
Shop now: K&H Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heating Pad, $65; chewy.com
Furrybaby Pet Heating Pad
Choose from six sizes and four fun, vibrant designs with this heating pad, which also features a number of timers and adjustable temperatures. It's made from scratch-resistant fabric, too, and has both a built-in overheat protection sensor and long, chew-resistant cord. And at under $30, it's a definite steal.
Shop now: Furrybaby Pet Heating Pad, $29; amazon.com
Toozey Pet Heating Pad
This spacious dog heating pad has won stellar reviews on Amazon for its ultra-soft cover, sensitive protective sensors, and six temperature settings maintained with an LED controller, among other features. Pick it up in one of four sizes and four bright colors, and watch your dog sink into happiness.
Shop now: Toozey Pet Heating Pad, $35; amazon.com
Clawsable Super-Large Electric Heating Pad
Have a bigger dog (or two)? Consider this larger-than-average pet heating pad, which has a six-level temperature regulator, a four-level timer, and a seven-layer protective structure to protect its canine users from harm. The pretty blue color of the impressive pad is just an added bonus!
Shop now: Clawsable Super-Large Electric Heating Pad, $50; amazon.com
Homello Pet Heating Pad
This high-efficiency heating pad heats up in just about 10 minutes, so your pet won't have to spend any more time feeling cold than absolutely necessary. Other notable features of the ped include its durable and long-lasting build, anti-electric shock material, and easy-to-clean, scratch-resistant fabric. Buy it in one of three sizes.
Shop now: Homello Pet Heating Pad, $37; amazon.com